Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to change the qualification process for those not automatically qualified in the ICC T20 World Cup, saying playing two sets of qualifiers is “quite strenuous on the heart”.
Zimbabwe couldn’t play last year’s World Cup and this year the team has come through the qualifier. Asked whether the ICC should look at a scenario where teams like Zimbabwe and Namibia play directly with 12 or 16 teams, Ervine said, “I think going forward, obviously for us to play the qualifiers back in Zimbabwe and then coming to the (T20) World Cup to play another qualifiers is quite strenuous on the heart. I think for all the supporters and the country, as well, to have to go through both qualifiers to get into the World Cup (is tough on the players and supporters). But I think the statement is already there that us lesser teams belong in the World Cup.”
Zimbabwe are placed third in the group following the shocking win against Pakistan and the side sharing points with South Africa due to the abandonment of play. They take on Bangladesh here with a good chance of beating the side and brightening their chance of making the last-4 grade.
Ervine added that by beating Pakistan, Zimbabwe was not trying to make a statement for Associate nations but was urging the ICC to involve some lesser-known teams in a better manner to liven up tournaments like the T20 World Cup.
“Look, I don’t think that we’re trying to put a statement out there. I think that with the upset between us and Pakistan and the upset between Ireland and England, I think the statement is already out there. It would be really good to involve some of the lesser teams because it creates that bit of excitement around the World Cup, especially when you do have the upsets, and it opens both groups up really nicely,” said Ervine.
On Zimbabwe’s chance of making the semifinal from their Super 12 group, Ervine said he was quite positive about it.
“Look, we’ve got a huge chance to make the semis. Again, it requires us to win against Bangladesh and also to beat Netherlands, and then we’ve got our final game against India, and depending on some other results. But we can’t look too far ahead right now. I think we’re probably just looking at tomorrow and trying to concentrate on tomorrow’s game and putting in a good performance tomorrow, and then after that, then we can look at Netherlands and plan our way forward from there.”